International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 567

Full Length Research Paper

Agro-pastorals’ adoption of soil and water conservation (SWC) technologies: The case of Aba’ala district in Afar Region, Ethiopia

Mohammed Motuma Assen
  • Mohammed Motuma Assen
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, College of Social Sciences, Samara University, Ethiopia.
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Takel Ashebo
  • Takel Ashebo
  • Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, College of Social Sciences, Samara University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 10 January 2018
  •  Accepted: 18 April 2018
  •  Published: 31 July 2018


This study assessed agro-pastoralists’ adoption of soil and water conservation measures in Aba’alla. A convergent parallel mixed design was used, combining quantitative and qualitative methods. Samples were taken from five selected kebelles of spate irrigation areas in the Woreda. Questionnaires, group discussions, interviews and field observations were used. About 150 households were taken from 2450 households using simple random sampling techniques for administration of the questionnaires. To examine perception of the agro-pastoralists, a five-point Likert rating scale was employed. Moreover, bi-variate and multi-variate statistical analyses were applied. The results showed that adoption of soil and water conservation technologies of agro-pastoralists is significantly and positively correlated with their perception level on soil erosion (r=.308, p<0.01) and its effect (r=.182, p<0.05). Their perception, related with household head’s perception on soil erosion, is positively and significantly correlated with his/her educational status and other factors. The results showed that 35.3, 28.7, 17.3 and 8.7% of sample households are respectively: very low adoption, low adoption, moderate adoption, high adoption; and the remainder are non-adopters. They reported using structural like gabions and bunds and sometimes agronomic methods. Only a few farmers used biological soil conservation methods. Among these methods, soil management methods contour farming and minimum tillage are relatively in wider usage. Factors negatively affecting the farmers’ adoption of SWC included gender, age, marital status, number of children, size of farm, credit and land ownership. However, educational attainment of household, off-farm activity, extension, participation on mass SWC campaign, perceived erosion occurrence, livestock wealth and farming experience are positively affecting it. From these factors, statistically significant ones are educational status (at p<0.01), access to extension (at p<0.01) and credit (at p<0.05), off-farm activity (at p<0.05), and land tenancy (at p<0.05), those factors significantly affecting the adoption extent and behavior of agro-pastoral community of the study area.

Key words: Adoption of conservation practices, conservation failures and preferences, demographic factors, flooding, soil and water conservation (SWC) measures.